Somehow or another all the furniture got on the truck, all the neighbors shed some tears with me and we got on the road to Paris and, hopefully, our eventual return to California. Since this portion of my trip was arranged before I knew there would be three of us or that volcanoes would make us all so nuts, i booked into Dijon -- about halfway between Provence and Paris for tonight.
Yes, it could have been done in one go, but why push it when you can overnight in Dijon?
I have been coming here once a year for about ten years; i always stay at La Cloche Hotel, which is now Sofitel La Cloche. It's always been the grande dame hotel of town and is walking distance to everything, including Grey-Poupon which is now run by Maille although there really were a Monsieur Grey and his business partner Monsieur Poupon.
The hotel was shockingly nice when i explained that there were three of us now -- we got a junior suite with a sofabed and a view overlooking the park and the main shopping street. Do they know how to treat a Shopping Goddess or what?
Years ago the hotel was sorta shabby chic and rustic, now the outside is still a Haussmanien palace but the inside is very moderne and re-done Sofitel, complete with a big stash of L'Occitane bathroom amenities. Ceilings are high, there's French doors that open right onto the town.
All the local shopping you could want is right down the street-- starting with Maille and its enormous collection of flavored mustards, oils, olive spreads and even dish towels and totes. For those who are curious, Maille products are sold elsewhere in town, but the prices in the mother store are the best, as is the selection.
Aside from the seemingly three dozen different flavors and combos of mustards, there were three freshly made, in-house mustards from the pump (pompe) -- you buy a ceramic jar and they fill it for you, you can come back for a re-fill. The three fresh that day flavors were chablis (strong), white wine (so strong it made my nose run) and chocolate. This is not a joke! Nor is it a dessert. The idea for chocolate mustard came from the shop's suggestion box; it is an Easter special, limited edition creation and is tangy and amazingly good.
Despite the weight of the ceramic jars, i just had to buy a few as gifts.
Then I had to make my way one block over to the rue Musette, which is a pedestrian only tourist alley with two of my favorite TT's in the world, both sell flavored mustards and other gourmet food items. We had whittled down the baggage to account for the fact that there are three of us in the car, but now we need a new suitcase just for the mustard.